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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: July 2009

11 - Regional organizations and the promotion and protection of democracy as a contribution to international peace and security


In what, unfortunately, would be his final book, Hilaire, along with Justin Morris, engaged in a study entitled Regional Peacekeeping in the Post-Cold War Era. In that volume they presented a wide-ranging analysis of the potential contributions and limitations of regional arrangements as peace support actors. Their foray into this area was significant, for regionalism is pervasive in the international system but a neglected area of study in international law. In both theory and practice, regionalism creates a dilemma for today's international law which is commonly understood and conceived as a global, universal system of law. By its very definition, regionalism poses a challenge to a global, universal system of international law as it advocates the recognition of diversity. At the same time, the realities of the international system and international relations demonstrate that regional arrangements have an important role to play in a wide variety of activities. Hilaire and Justin rightly identified that regional arrangements can act in cooperation with universal arrangements in dealing with specific problems faced by the international system and furthermore regional arrangements play an ‘enhanced and powerful role’ in addressing a range of issues.

This contribution intends to add to the debate stimulated by Hilaire and Justin in viewing how regional arrangements may contribute to international peace and security. Their study examined the role of regional arrangements in the field of peacekeeping and security; this contribution will look at the role of regional arrangements in the promotion and protection of democracy as part of the global pursuit of international peace and security.

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